Home  >  TopNews
you can get e-magazine links on WhatsApp.Click here
Health & Insurance + Font Resize -

KPPA to move court against illegible prescription writing by doctors

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Since majority of the medical professionals in government services in Kerala are still adhering to their conventional style of prescription writing even as the Central and state medical regulators (MCI and TCMC) have repeatedly directed them to write the names of medicines legibly in capital letters with preference to generic names, the pharmacists in the health centres allege that the doctors are not following the directions properly.

Because of this, according to government pharmacists, several dispensing errors are happening in hospital and community pharmacies across the state. Recently, three incidents have occurred in some hospitals because of unreadable writing of drug names by medical professionals.

The member of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) from Kerala, K R Dinesh Kumar, who is a government pharmacist by profession and the former secretary of Kerala Private Pharmacist Association (KPPA) said he was informed by the association that it was preparing to approach the High Court of Kerala to get a permanent direction to the doctors community in this regard. He said ninety percent of the prescriptions coming to the private medical shops are from government hospitals. The pharmacists at the medical shops face difficulties in reading some of the names of the medicines written by the doctors, especially some specialists who write only the first two letters and the last two letters with a long line in the middle.

Kumar said he will raise the issue in the next PCI meeting to take up the matter with the MCI.

T Murad, a pharmacy officer recently retired from service from Alappuzha medical college said this kind of unreadable manner of prescription writing makes the pharmacists at the hospital and community pharmacies confused reading which leads to dispensing errors and wrong delivery of medicines. He said recently some hospital pharmacists in various places in the state had to dispense erroneously due to the scribbling of drug names by doctors.

When contacted, Dr Sabu Sugathan, chairman of the ethics committee of the Travancore-Cochin Medical Council (TCMC), which had directed its registered members to follow the guidelines issued by Medical Council of India on September 28, 2016, said the number of patients coming before a medical officer in an OP ward is huge, both in cities and in rural areas, and he has to do the diagnosis and writing prescription for all of them.

The doctors cannot consume more time for a single patient as there is always a long queue of patients waiting for them. So, the doctors have to scribble down the names most often, which the pharmacists can easily read. He said if any doubt arises about the prescription, the pharmacist can clear it with the doctor who is also in the hospital. Regarding writing of generic names, Dr Sabu said before emphasizing generic names, the quality of the generic medicines has to be ensured for a total change of prescription. However, he agreed up on one thing that the pharmacists are sometimes finding it difficult to understand the names of medicines written by some doctors.
Dr V G Pradeep Kumar, vice-president of the TCMC, said the issue of illegible way of prescription writing will end up once the government introduces electronic prescribing system in all health centres where the doctors can write and send the prescriptions to the pharmacies electronically. He said most of the major private health centres have introduced electronic prescription system while smaller hospitals, private clinics and government PHCs are yet to implement it. He said since he is working in a private hospital, he writes legibly in capital letters.

Rajan B Rajan, former assistant director of pharmacy department in Kerala and ex-president of Kerala Pharmacy Council said in 2016 when the MCI issued the guidelines, KSPC had approached the state government and the TCMC to implement the direction of the medical council all over Kerala. He wanted the KSPC to take up the matter with the government and the TCMC for strict implementation. 

But, Dr R M Jayachandran, ENT surgeon (NHM) at Adoor General Hospital in Pathanamthitta district, said no doctor in the Adoor hospital is following the guidelines of the MCI as there is no complaint from the pharmacists who dispense the drugs as per the prescription. He said government order is there to write the names in capital letters and use generic names, but nobody cares it.


* Name :     
* Email :    
  Website :  
Copyright © 2016 Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd |